As a leading supplier of restaurant tables across Australia, we have listened to many a sad tale about restaurant tables and the issues that can be had. We’ve decided to write this article for especially for you so you can become more educated about the potential problems you may face and what you can do to either avoid such problems or fix them when they arise.

When you are fitting out your restaurant, your tables are of paramount importance. These are the surfaces from which your food is displayed, critiqued, and then eaten. They must be clean, stable, stylish and in good condition. The last thing you want is to have customers walk away because of your tables.

Read on more to find out more…

1: Table Tops Discolouring or Damaged

A big problem faced by many restaurant owners is damage to their table tops. Whether that be that their tops are warping, fading, scratching, or cracking. This can be a quality control issue, but it can also be misuse, not keeping a tight maintenance schedule or a natural aging process. There are products that are used for table tops which will more than likely crack or scratch easily, such as timber.

Some restaurant owners may find they have trouble with resin tops fading or warping. We find this happens mostly when darker colours are used outdoors. The heat of the Australian sun warms up the darker coloured tops too much and causes the materials within the resin top to expand and cause the top to warp. Similarly, the sun fades the colouring of the darker tops to a certain degree. Again, we would recommend that only light colours are used in outdoor settings.

Timber table tops are made from a natural product and therefore it is common for them to crack or scratch. Timber is constantly moving, expanding and contracting, and it will crack as a natural process. You can expect your timber table tops to crack – this is a part of the charm of timber! A solution to small or medium cracks is to fill it with a putty of similar colour. Scratches can be fixed by sanding down the top and resurfacing. Avoid putting timber outdoors and keep up a regular maintenance program.

2: Rocking/Moving Tables

Another issue we often see across the restaurant industry is uneven and wobbly tables. Tables that aren’t completely stable often result in food and drink spillages for patrons and present and unequal surface for them to eat off. This isn’t a great look for your restaurant and could cause patrons to turn away. This is not something you want to happen!

To fix this problem, we would suggest adjustable feet or self-levelling table bases. Many bases come with adjustable feet on the bottom (all of Adage’s base range have adjustable feet). These feet can be manually adjusted to bring the table to the right height to keep the surface even.

Alternatively, there are self-levelling bases available, for example NOROCK bases are a great self-levelling table base. self-levelling table bases are engineered to level out the table regardless of the ground they are sitting on. Get yourself table bases that can be adjusted to suit your venue flooring and you won’t need to worry about rocking tables again!

3: Flexibility within the Venue

When creating the perfect restaurant, you want to ensure you can serve all group sizes. One of the biggest problems many restaurants face is not have the flexibility to serve groups of varied sizing. People can come to restaurants in various groups – by themselves, as a couple, or in larger family/friend groups. Many restaurants make the mistake of not catering to this and larger groups may find seating a little more difficult. You don’t want to be sending patrons away simply because you can’t seat them.

You can avoid this by including tables of different sizes. Using different sizes throughout your venue, you automatically have the space to copy with the group sizing. Many table top options come in different sizes, which allows you to continue the same look throughout your venue without compromising on the style.

Alternatively, you could opt to use tables that can be easily and quickly moved to be joined together for bigger groups. Look for lightweight tables with edges that will easily butt up against each other. Lighter tables will allow for easy moving. It goes without saying, but obviously don’t bolt said tables to the floor or you may experience some difficulty with moving them!

4: Fit for Purpose

As restaurant furniture enthusiasts, we want to ensure that your tables are exactly what you envisioned. Unfortunately, not all restaurants end up with furniture that speaks to their vision as well as providing the practicality that they require. Your restaurant tables should bring the look, feel, comfort and design that you are wanting for your restaurant, but also be of commercial quality to ensure that it stands up to the harsh rigors of the hospitality industry. You may find the perfect table that looks exactly the way you wished it to and then be disappointed later to find that the quality just isn’t there.

To ensure that your furniture is going to withstand the harsh treatment it’ll get, you can watch out for a few things.

Firstly, we would recommend you look for or ask about commercial grade furniture. With the belting that restaurant furniture gets, it needs to be commercial grade to stand up to the harsh environment. Often great quality furniture will be backed up with a warranty – the higher the warranty, the better the guarantee that your furniture will last.

Secondly, you may want to watch where your proposed tables are manufactured. Not all manufacturers are the same, however from our experience, furniture of Asian origin usually doesn’t withstand the harsh Australian weather or usage. this can be due to the materials used to make the furniture or the quality of craftsmanship. This is where you need to do your own quality control checks and assess whether you think the furniture will withstand your venue needs.

The other part of being fit for purpose – style – is entirely up to you! There are no easy solutions here. You need to choose furniture that answers your style needs and stays within your quality and cost budgets. For more information on the costs of restaurant, check out our other article on the Cost of Restaurant Furniture.

5: Incorrect Venue Layout

We often see restaurants with problems with their venue layouts. Getting the correct layout for your venue can be difficult as there are many things to consider. Having an incorrect venue layout can mean that your venue doesn’t run to its full capacity. This can mean you don’t serve as many patrons as you could, or it could mean that your venue becomes overcrowded, and you can’t bring the service that you’d like. Neither of these options are great, so here’s a couple of points you can take away to help make sure your venue is fitted out in the best layout.

When you are looking to layout your venue, we would recommend you take measurements of the venue and draw up a plan of where you want everything to be. Draw up the designated areas, table sizes and the flow through your venue. If you haven’t done this before, come and speak to the team at Adage Furniture – it’s a service we offer for free!

Flow through your restaurant is important to keep movement free without accidents. You want a pathway designated from the front of the venue through to the serving area and the amenities. This flow should also accommodate different areas within your venue – such as dining seats, bar areas or lounge/booth zones. These allow for patrons with different preferences and needs. And then to reiterate what point two suggests, include different table sizes to accommodate for varied group sizing.

Drawing up a plan and keeping these tips in mind will allow you to get a better idea of the quantity of seating you need throughout your venue to fill it to capacity without overfilling. If you create a floorplan and remember these simple points, your venue should run like clockwork!